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You would have heard or read that these are hard times. But, the perks of being born as a human is the ability to create and cherish memories. So, in this piece let us scratch the card of old memories and see what good the past has got for us. Memories, of Durga Mata’s sculptures and typical brouhaha of the fair might not match the festival in this new normal. But, the iconic deity depicted in the Murtis of fair makes the subject of this piece.

The sixth day of Navratri is about Mata Katyayani, the goddess of war often seen ripping the chest of Mahishasura. Here is all that you should know about Mata Katyayani –

• Refulgent as thousand suns, Mata Katyayani has splendid three eyes and four arms (sometimes depicted with eighteen hands). She is also known as Mahishasuramardini.

• Mata rides a majestic lion. She is depicted with four arms, where the left two arms carry lotus & a sword, and right two arms stay in Varada & Abhaya Mudras. The Goddess is draped in a red attire.

• Sage Katyayana belonged to the lineage of great sage Kata and Katya. He had no offspring so he practiced strict penance for several years in order to get Mata propitiated. He cherished a keen desire in his heart to have be Mata Adi Shakti in the form of his daughter. Mata was pleased to accede to his request. Since Mata was the daughter of Katyayana, so she got her name Katyayani. While she was growing up, the terror of Mahishasur (offspring of Rambha, king of Asuras and princess Mahishi who was cursed to be a buffalo). The Gods and the sages feared of a greater apprehension during his reign. The ability of Mahishasur to switch between a human and a bull made it harder for the Gods to put him down.

• Gods turned to Mata Katyayani and gifted her multiple weapons. Shiva gifted her Trident, Brahma gave her rosary, Agni presented her a dart, Vishnu offered her chakra, Vishwakarma gave her battle axe, Kala gifted her sword and a shield, Kuber offered a mace, Surya gave her a quiver, and Indra and other gods gifted her other powerful gifts. Sage Katyayana was given the privilege to worship this form of Mata, her daughter. Then, Mata proceeded to Vindhaychal Mountains where Mahishasur lived and killed him by slaying his head. This event is celebrated as Vijayadashmi.

• Mata never fails in granting the wishes of the devotees. The Braja maidens worshipped Mata with a desire to have Sri Krishna as their husband.

• On the sixth day of Navratri, a yogi who worships all forms of Mata to attain Siddhi reaches in Ajna chakra, most powerful of all the chakras. It is this time when a striver, staying in Ajna Chakra offers complete surrender to Mata, she blesses the yogi with abundant wisdom.

• Mata Katyayani blesses the devotee with zeal and then Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are in the easy reach of the Sadhak.

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